Murdoch Hill 'Landau' Syrah
"In some ways, this is Michael DownerÕs signature wine. It comes from a single parcel of vines at Murdoch HillÕs Landau block in Oakbank, a predominately east-facing slope on shallow, red loam soils with varying levels of schist rock and ironstone. The vines were planted in 1998 and sit at 400 metres above sea level. OakbankÕs warmer, sunny days allow for the Syrah vines to fully ripen their fruit while the afternoon breezes and cool nights help promote natural acidity. The block is sustainably managed with zero herbicides and organic principles. Due to the low yields and cooler weather, the 2020 vintage saw a decrease in whole-bunch to just 15% in 2020 (from 50% in 2019). ItÕs a lighter wine than its predecessor; forward with elegance, spice and vitality. Downer wild-fermented the fruit with whole bunches and whole berries in small one-tonne open fermenters. Oak maturation was minimal, with the wine raised in older oak puncheons and demi-muids (less than 10% new) for 10 months."
"DownerÕs Landau Syrah is all about light tread, elegance and cool fruited freshness. Signature Syrah flavours of black spice, savoury blue fruits and a touch of liquorice are carried by bright acidity and well-integrated tannins. ItÕs spicy and playful but the underlying power and purity betray the pedigree at work in both fruit and winemaking nous."